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System developers are the most sought after IT contractors in the UK, according to somewhat dated stats from the CWJobs UK Quarterly IT Skills Index.

There were more than 3,000 vacancies advertised for system developer contractors in both Q1 and Q2 of this year - accounting for one in four of the total number of contract vacancies advertised.

Demand for test analysts and project managers also jumped with the number of vacancies increasing 18 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, compared to the first three months of the year.

Those looking to read the runes of economic recovery might also be interested to know that those sectors most in need of IT staff were the media industry, finance and public sector, while vacancies advertised by software houses accounted for four in ten of all contract jobs.

At the other end of the scale, demand for contract positions fell by more than 10 per cent from Q1 to Q2 2003 in the manufacturing and retail sectors

Oh, and the top five contract skills demanded in Q2 2003 were SQL, Oracle, Unix, Windows NT and MS Office.

This latest info - only just released - relates back to a survey carried out in the first half of the year.

In July, CWJobs' Q2 report found that there was evidence of a tentative recovery in the UK's IT jobs market with the number of contract openings on the up while permanent position are on the slide.

At the time Shobhan Gajjar, Web site director at CWJobs, said the stats provided scope for "cautious optimism". ®

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